A Pulborough resident has compiled the definitive list of UK casualties from World War One in a new book series released this month.
Pulborough Parish Councillor, Martin Dale, has published the first three instalments of ‘The First World War Roll of Honour’ exclusively to Amazon.co.uk as part of the conflict’s 100 year anniversary.
“They should not be forgotten,” said Martin. “These people laid down their lives fighting for and defending their country and for the freedoms and democracy that we enjoy today.”
The books contain the names of all known casualties from not only the UK and Channel Islands, but also the entire British Empire, overseas colonies and Commonwealth.
In addition to information on the rank, number, date, regiment and service unit for all casualties, the books also lists the known aliases of servicemen.
Martin continued: “I had a number of relatives who served during the war and I have only just recently learned of one member of the family - Gunner Robert George King MM - who was killed in April 1917 and is named on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres, so I have a personal interest in the subject.”
To complete the series, Martin has been working on the books for up to eight hours a day, seven days a week, since the new year.
As there was no central list compiled of all casualties, the historian had to scour through newspaper articles and other sources to find the names of those who died in action.
“Because of censorship of the media during the war, by August 1915 it became increasingly difficult to find out the names - the newspapers usually simply stated something like ‘a 32-year-old male was killed in an air raid last week’,” he said.
The first three volumes cover the period from August 1914 to the end of 1915, and include the names of over 185,000 military and civilian losses sustained during this time.
Further volumes in the series - covering the remainder of the war years - will be released during the centenary commemorative period.
“I just wanted to do something personally to commemorate all casualties - military and civilian - so that none are forgotten or missed out,” said Martin.
The parish councillor is also involved in a new Pulborough memorial and peace garden.
You can find the books by typing ‘The First World War Roll of Honour’ by M. D. Dale into Amazon.co.uk